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Why Apples?
Old 09-22-2012, 11:52 AM
 
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Please don't laugh, but why does it seem that many first grades do a unit on apples and Johnny Appleseed? I took over from the last first grade teacher, and I've carried on her unit without asking exactly why. It does go well with the harvest, fall and autumn. Is that why many do it? I thought I'd try something new, but the other first grade teacher looked at me agasp!!! (I guess that I was breaking with tradition ) Does anyone do anything different?


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Old 09-22-2012, 12:01 PM
 
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We always did apples in K. I like them because they are so versatile. We learned about seasons, bees, took a field trip to an apple orchard, there are lots of books about apples (including emergent readers), we did science with apples, math, art - you know, probably all of the things you are doing.

Some years I didn't do the apple unit, and no one complained.
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Old 09-22-2012, 12:04 PM
 
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It is something that is readily available, and every child can relate to apples. I know some communities have orchards to visit and it fits in with lots of kinder, 1st and 2nd grade standards with science and reading.
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great for descriptive writing
Old 09-22-2012, 02:23 PM
 
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because it's something they all know about and can use their senses to describe.
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Old 09-22-2012, 05:11 PM
 
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I teach 1st, and we don't do apples or Johnny Appleseed.


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Autumn Unit
Old 09-22-2012, 06:50 PM
 
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We do pumpkins in our class. We measure them, weigh them, count the lines, learn the growth cycle, draw and label the parts of a pumpkin, estimate and count seeds (reading HOW MANY SEEDS IN A PUMPKIN), toast the seeds, and bake pumpkin bread. Our unit takes several weeks in late October and early November. In September we learn about plants in general, so the pumpkins are a fun wrap up. We will also do a field trip to a local botanical garden to observe parts of plants. I love this time of year!
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Old 09-23-2012, 06:41 AM
 
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We just wrapped up our first cc unit on folktales and Johnny Appleseed was one of the folktale hereos we studied. This is according to our state standards for Social Studies. We will celebrate Johnny Appleseed's birthday on Thursday to wrap up this unit.
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:26 AM
 
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Most of our students have recent experiences in apple picking, our social studies core curriculum standard is to have them study a folk tale hero. Johnny Appleseed fits the bill. I have gone years without this, but now it is back.
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:03 PM
 
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Good for you for asking!!

I hope this unit connects with standards you are expected to teach and the other first grade teacher isn't just teaching it because it's what they've always done.

I often wondered this when teachers did units on penguins, bears, farms or whatever. Sometimes it was a random topic with no connections to the grade level objectives and standards.
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:21 PM
 
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I do think it is good to teach through themes. A correctly planned unit centered around a theme can cover lots of standards and be engaging for the students.

The choice of the topic itself doesn't matter as much as what standards you connect to the topic.


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Thank Your Gardener5!
Old 09-23-2012, 02:43 PM
 
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Yes, that's exactly why I was asking. In my state, there is no tie in our standard for apples, it has been done since my kids were in first grade!! I could connect it in a way to my standards, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something. I think sometimes we do get caught up in doing what we've always done. Thank you.
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because it's something they can relate to....
Old 09-27-2012, 05:08 PM
 
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Apples are plentiful and doing a unit on apples can tie directly into many of the standards in a fun and interesting way. I'm so worried about teachers who only follow what's in the TE and never go "outside the box." Use some imagination..... there are so many more fun and interesting ways to teach than just following a script approved by some book publisher who probably never even talked to a six year old. I've seen excellent teachers use themes such as farm animals, dinosaurs, apples, penguins, butterflies, etc. and they cover the standards in fun, creative ways.
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Themes are engaging!
Old 10-01-2012, 06:23 PM
 
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Personally I think teaching standards through themes is FUN! Just finished up apples and hit at least 20 standards throughout the theme. Kids need to have fun in school and not just do the same old boring workbooks. We made applesauce at the end and my class was in heaven! It's real world learning and making them excited about coming to school that counts! Remember they are 6!
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